Prince Andrew title: How the Queen made a touching tribute with Duke of York’s title
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Prince Andrew is the Queen’s third eldest child, behind Prince Charles and Princess Anne but before Prince Edward. But despite being the middle child, and having a rather naughty streak as a youngster, he is thought to be the Queen’s favourite. Royal historian Piers Brendon claimed it was “obvious” Andrew was the Queen’s favourite son.
Speaking to Jeremy Paxman on a Channel 5 documentary, he said: “Andy skipped university and went straight to naval college, which went down well with his naval officer father.
“He completed the Marines Commando course, just to show he could, before qualifying as a helicopter pilot.
“Then, aged just 22, he fought in the Falklands. Prince Andrew is obviously the Queen’s favourite son.
“He was heroic during the Falklands War – she clearly has a soft spot for him.”
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Andrew married his now ex wife Sarah Ferguson in July 1986, at Westminster Abbey.
On the day of his nuptials, the Queen granted her this born with a new title – the Duke of York, making Sarah – also known as Fergie – the new Duchess of York.
And it seems the Queen may have opted for this title for her son due to a very personal reason.
The Queen was exceptionally close to her father King George VI up until his death.
But what many may not know is that George VI was never intended to be the King – and in fact, previously held a very different title: The Duke of York.
King George VI – born Albert – was fourth in line to the throne at birth, after his grandfather, father and elder brother Edward.
The Duke of York is a title usually given to the second son of British monarchs – and Albert received the title in 1920, on the promise to his father he’d give up pursuing a relationship with a married woman, Australian socialite Lady Loughborough.
Following the deaths of his grandfather and father, his brother Edward was due to step up to be King – but in a dramatic twist, abdicated the throne just days after taking over, leaving Albert in charge.
Albert, then styled as King George VI, went on to rule for 16 years alongside his wife Elizabeth, having two children – Princess Elizabeth, now our Queen, and Princess Margaret.
Elizabeth was exceptionally close to her father, who helped to prepare her to be Queen in the final months before his death.
So while the Duke of York title is traditionally given to the second son, the Queen may have had another reason to bestow the title on her favourite child, Prince Andrew.
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But Andrew may not have always been the favourite. In fact, as a child, he had a rather wicked streak, royal experts claim.
In Ingrid Seward’s biography My Husband and I, she claims Andrew had a particular tantrum at Windsor’s Royal Mews while the Queen was out which saw him release his naughty side.
She wrote: “The coachmen and grooms who worked there had little time for the prince, having often seen him aim sly kicks at the dogs and taunting the helpless guardsmen.
“Sensing their studied indifference and trying to attract attention, the prince started beating the ground with a large stick.
“No one took any notice, so Andrew doubled his efforts and beat the ground even harder, taking a sideways swipe at the legs of the horses.”
Naturally his controversial friendship with convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein is unlikely to have impressed the Queen either, who faced a torrid 2019 following his disastrous BBC Newsnight interview and the exit of her beloved grandson Prince Harry and his wife Meghan Markle.
He told interview Emily Maitlis he met Epstein in 1999, through Epstein’s former girlfriend Ghislaine Maxwell.
The Duke of York insists he and Epstein were “not that close”, but it was discovered the pair met on at least 10 occasions.
The Prince had stayed for several days at a time at Epstein’s residences in New York, along with visiting his homes in Palm Beach and the Virgin Islands.
He controversially stated that he did not regret his friendship with Epstein, because “the people that I met and the opportunities that I was given to learn either by him or because of him were actually very useful”.
But days after the interview aired, the Duke of York announced he would be stepping back from royal duties.
In a statement, Andrew said: “I continue to unequivocally regret my ill-judged association with Jeffrey Epstein.
“His suicide has left many unanswered questions, particularly for his victims, and I deeply sympathise with everyone who has been affected and wants some form of closure.
“I can only hope that, in time, they will be able to rebuild their lives.”
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